May 25, 2010
Snow Loads: Holding The Winter Weight
A brutal winter can be a real wake-up call for growers. Forcing you to ask questions: Are my greenhouse structures up to par? Are they strong enough to withstand heavy snow from a late and unexpected storm while we’re in the middle of production? The questions are legitimate ones, and industry veterans provide some answers. They explain how a little practicality, heat and attentiveness can go a long way – and may even save the season for your operation. Snow Removal Along with keeping a close eye on the local and national weather reports, Jaderloon’s Neil Devaney advises removing all exterior shade cloth before anything else. “The snow will grab that cloth a lot more and hold,” he says. “If that happens, it won’t go anywhere and just turn into ice.” Once the snow starts coming down, Devaney says long-handled brooms and PVC pipes are excellent for manually working the […]
April 16, 2010
Ornamental Grasses Are Gaining Steam
Emerald Coast Growers marketing manager John Friel says ornamental grasses are no longer a niche crop but an accepted presence, part of the perennial mainstream. Whether they serve as a stand-alone specimen or in mixed containers, grasses are getting lots of new play. Friel also believes that while durable, native varieties are in vogue, tender varieties are also serving a purpose. “One of the most popular grasses out there is P. xadvena ‘Rubrum,'” he says. “It’s not hardy, but it’s so pretty, which makes up for it. Its more recent offspring, ‘Fireworks,’ is a show-stopper.” ‘Fireworks’ is the first variegated purple fountain grass with mid-veins of burgundy with hot pink margins. In addition to ‘Fireworks,’ panicum ‘Ruby Ribbons’ is another variety Friel and Emerald Coast Growers are excited about. ‘Ruby Ribbons’ has soft blue-green foliage in the spring that takes on a wine-red color in early summer, which intensifies as […]
April 15, 2010
10 Retailer Likes And Dislikes
– It’s nice to be able to call someone’s cell phone,” says Stephen Barlow of Barlow’s Flowers in Sea Girt, N.J. Using Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm as an example, “It can be 6 o’clock in the morning or 8 o’clock at night and he’ll pick up his phone.” – “Sounds funny, but we don’t have a huge place and smaller growers usually have smaller trucks – and I like that,” says Barlow. – For growers looking to earn Barlow’s or Seuberth’s business, wait until after the busy season. “They should know spring is not a good time,” says Amy Seuberth of The Farm at Green Village. Barlow says, “Stopping in on a busy, sunny day will leave a bad taste in my mouth. It shows they don’t understand my business and my situation.” – For those same growers, be sure to stop in with a sample. And remember […]
April 15, 2010
Communicating With Retailers
From video updates, off-hours contact and exclusivity, today’s retailers are expecting to work with a more proactive grower in exchange for their loyalty. Virtually Improved It’s not unusual for growers of smaller operations to wear many hats. From marketing and customer service to deliveries and growing, today’s growers are faced with days that leave little time for a coffee break or even to catch one’s breath. Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm knows he is a busy guy. And rather than have his busy schedule detract from the relationships he has with retail customers, Traven chose to be proactive and hire Stephanie Whitehouse, Peace Tree Farm’s new sales and marketing manager. “I’m pretty much the go-to contact now for all our customers,” Whitehouse says. “This has helped free up time for Lloyd so he can focus on his creativity and look for new and interesting plants. I’m constantly on e-mail […]
March 31, 2010
When To Water
University of Georgia’s Marc van Iersel is focused on knowing when to water. For the last seven years he has been working with soil moisture sensors to improve irrigation and reduce leaching and runoff water– seeking total water-use efficiency. Simultaneously, colleagues at the University of Maryland and Carnegie Mellon University were developing equipment that could take soil moisture measurements and transmit them to a central computer. In addition, the University of Colorado team had been focused on technology that demanded real-time modeling of water use based on environmental conditions in the nursery. “We had basically several projects that have been going off independently for the last seven years, and now we’re combining all of our efforts to develop a system that will be commercially available,” van Iersel says. So what’s the key ingredient keeping these somewhat separate agendas together? A $5.16 million, five-year USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative Sensor Networks […]
March 29, 2010
Succulents: What’s Old Is New
Succulents meet consumers. Consumers meet succulents. That may be a little extreme–they aren’t complete strangers–but a familiarity of this market on a consumer level has definitely been lacking. Until now. As one grower states, succulents are far from new and with consumer tastes becoming more refined, these plant types are beginning to see a resurgence in popularity. Making Sense Of It When it comes to ease of maintenance, clean-lined aesthetics and durability, succulents are at the head of the class–a message many growers aren’t passing onto retailers, who are then missing out on their customers. Grower Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm, Kintnersville, Pa., says, “There’s a definite disconnect between the grower and the buyer for the store.” He says growers are not giving a clear message to the retailers, and also many buyers aren’t concerned with hearing this message because it doesn’t impact them directly. “Succulents don’t use water […]
December 28, 2009
Quantifying The Quality
For greenhouse growers, the U.S. Green Building Council is a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. LEED is a prestigious third-party certification program and a national benchmark that promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in five key areas of human and environmental health, says Dr. Bodie Pennisi, Horticulture Department, University of Georgia. These five areas include: LEED development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. This certification lacks any official agricultural connection to indoor plants and the role they play in improving human health by improving indoor air quality, Pennisi says. Green Plants For Green Buildings (GPGB) President Mike Lewis adds, “Ironically enough, you can have the greenest building on the planet and do not have a single living plant in it. Isn’t that weird? “If you look at the ads and catalogs of […]
November 23, 2009
Plant Growth Regulator Primer
For some growers, the acronym PGR can mean one of two things – plant growth regulator or plant growth retardant, both of which tend to get used interchangeably. “This is okay, but can be misleading,” says Jason Fausey, Valent research and development specialist. “I like the term regulator, simply because it can be applied to those that inhibit and speed up growth.” Todd Bunnell, ornamental research manager at SePRO, adds, “Plant growth retardants are growth regulators that stop plant growth, specifically mitotic development.” Most products are actually retardants, according to Peter Konjoian, Konjoian Floriculture Education Services, especially if one considers they are used to inhibit (retard) internode elongation. Regulator or retardant, what follows is a breakdown of popular PGR types by active ingredient (AI) used in the greenhouse industry: Ancymidol Activity Applied as either a foliar spray or substrate drench, this AI acts as a gibberellin inhibitor, which […]
October 29, 2009
Analyzing Soil Humidity Remotely: Your Sixth Sensor
Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trustâ€“mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more. Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.” Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are placed inside the […]
October 19, 2009
Monitor Moisture Wirelessly
Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust – mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more. Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.” Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are […]
February 26, 2017
AgBiome Will Enter the Ornamentals Market With a New Bi…
AgBiome, a young company with teammates steeped in decades of experience in the crop protection world, sees an opportunity to bring products to market that fill the existing gaps in plant protection. The company has partnered with SePRO to market and distribute Zio, a biological fungicide expecting EPA registration this spring.
February 24, 2017
AmericanHort Names New Board Members and Officers for 2…
The new board members are Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries, Tom Hughes of Hughes Nursery and Landscaping, and Cole Mangum of Bell Nursery.
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.
February 16, 2017
Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…
The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.
February 15, 2017
Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017
‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.